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Facebook lost one million monthly active users to GDPR

GDPR had real consequences for Facebook, if only slightly.
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Christian Hartmann / Reuters

The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation had a tangible impact on Facebook's user base -- if only just. While discussing its second quarter earnings, the social network revealed that it lost about 1 million monthly active users in Europe due to the implementation of GDPR. That's a drop in the bucket next to Facebook's 376 million European users and 2.2 billion total users, but such a decline is extremely rare for a company that has almost always seen growth, even if it has been slowing over time.

This definitely isn't guaranteed to set a trend, and it might even be a modest dip given the lingering effects of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook could easily be nervous about its significance, though -- it suggests that Europeans are considerably more sensitive to internet privacy issues, and that the company might have to walk a fine line if it wants to keep growing its audience in the region.

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